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Confused. Projected uk death rate due to Coronavirus.

(85 Posts)
52bright Sat 28-Mar-20 17:29:09

Good evening all. We need all the positive posts we can get in these difficult times so first an apology because this is not really a positive thread. My question though is this. Why in tonight's bulletin were we we told that it would be a good outcome for the uk if death figures for Coronavirus were kept below 20000. The whole world's death rate on the world update site is approx. 29000 so why are we as one relatively small area of the world projecting a death rate of 20000. Maybe this is managing expectations, giving us a worst case scenario number of death cases so that if it rises to say 15000 we will consider that our government has done well. The death rate in Germany is far lower per million of population than here. They say this is because of more organised testing which means those who display no symtoms but who have the disease are quickly isolated. I have no idea but 20000 projected deaths here when the world amount at the moment is about 29000 seems very frightening. Stay in and keep safe everyone flowers

MrsEggy Sat 28-Mar-20 17:58:11

The death rates for seasonal flu are about 17,000 in a bad year, but that doesn't get the publicity, and like this virus it is usually the old and vulnerable who die. Harsh, but true.

Eglantine21 Sat 28-Mar-20 18:01:23

Because 29000 is only the start. You probably need to add at least another two noughts to that.

Greymar Sat 28-Mar-20 18:04:41

How do you know this please Eg?

Elegran Sat 28-Mar-20 18:05:00

52bright I am reading right now that world deaths so far are 29,951 not that the possible final figure could be 29,000. so far there have been 1,019.

There have been various estimates of the possible number of deaths in the UK. It seems it could be somewhere between 4,700 and whatever number you care to think of. ANY number is too many, but below 20,000 would be a proportion of the final world total which matches our population as a proportion of the world's population. We are NOT in for a worse death rate than the rest of the world.

Elegran Sat 28-Mar-20 18:06:28

Greymar I think Eglantine was looking at the same report I was.

Elegran Sat 28-Mar-20 18:11:20

A bit of my post was missing. It should have said "So far there have been 1,019 in the UK out of that 29,951. Therefore our final figure will probably be about one thirtieth of the total final world figure"

Baggs Sat 28-Mar-20 18:34:06

Germany is using a different way of counting. As I understand it, if someone who has an underlying health issue dies when they've also been infected with covid19, then the underlying health issue is given as cause of death, not covid. In Britain if someone infected with covid dies, covid is given as cause of death even if they also have underlying health issues which will have contributed to their death too. This is why Germany's numbers are lower.

Baggs Sat 28-Mar-20 18:37:58

The Times says today that Britian is on course to get to about 5,700 deaths in all. This is much much much lower than the quarter of a million that was feared not so long ago.

Eloethan Sat 28-Mar-20 18:39:15

That's interesting. Just shows how figures can be misleading.

Calendargirl Sat 28-Mar-20 18:41:19

I’m sure that is correct Baggs. It usually says that they have died after testing positive for Covid19.

To me, that does not necessarily mean that Covid19 is the actual cause of death.

Witzend Sat 28-Mar-20 18:52:55

I’ve read that different countries are recording reasons for death differently. IIRC some are recording all deaths of anyone who had the virus, as being caused by that. Whereas others, and IIRC I read that Germany is one - if someone was very ill for another reason, cause of death is attributed to that. So the person has died with it, rather than of it.

oldgimmer1 Sat 28-Mar-20 19:11:50

Those statistics aren't actually particularly helpful.

It tells us how many cases there are and how many have died. It's a small percentage - about 5%?.

It doesn't tell us whether those who died having tested positive would otherwise have died (sorry to be blunt). Presumably all those recorded will be attributed to CV as a cause of death.

oldgimmer1 Sat 28-Mar-20 19:18:45

This one may be more helpful. It shows the trajectory.

52bright Sat 28-Mar-20 19:32:22

Thank you for replying everyone.
Elegran your points are very reassuring.

Witzend it seems that there is some sleight of hand going on with the figures in some countries. I am 67. I have slightly high blood pressure, a heart murmur and mild [as in early stage] heart failure. None of these issues bother me one iota. I walk 5 miles a day, dance and have a lively social life. Normal flu viruses come and go and I might either get a mild doze or not. Yet if I succumb to this virus it seems that they could put it down to 'underlying conditions' even though if this virus hadn't occurred I would be as right as rain. Surely this is a bit of a cheat with the figures.

52bright Sat 28-Mar-20 19:37:36

Oldgimmer1. Thank you for the graph. I realize that the virus appeared in the uk later than in Europe. Does this graph suggest that we are on the same trajectory as Italy and Spain?

M0nica Sat 28-Mar-20 20:05:23

MrsEggy you are not comparing like with like. Flu deaths occur in a normal life with shops, schools, theatres, leisure centres etc etc are all up and operational and we mix and mingle with people as we did before the shut down.

If coronavirus was allowed to run rip without any attempts to have shut downs or introduce any measures to control it, as we do with flu, it is estimated that 80% of the population would get the virus and 200,000 plus would die.

Vice versa if we were to have a coplete lockdown during the flu season, cases and deaths would be vanishingly small.

Elegran Sat 28-Mar-20 20:21:19

52bright These are only estimates, of course, No-one can accurately predict anything. But yes, it is being said that we are following a similar pattern to Italy and Spain, but a bit behind them.

It is also being said that London is about a week ahead of the rest of the country. They will probably reach the peak in a couple of weeks time, the rest of us in about three weeks. After that they think that the numbers will start to drop.

Time will show if they are right!

suziewoozie Sat 28-Mar-20 20:27:11

I looked at where the 5700 figure cane from - Prof Pike at Imperial. But he seems to say we would peak at 250 a day - well today was 260 and we must be at least 2- 3 weeks from peaking so I don’t get it. And then after peaking it had to come down the other side

Pikachu Sat 28-Mar-20 20:29:59

In the UK it is estimated that an average of 600 people a year die from complications of flu. In some years it is estimated that this can rise to over 10,000 deaths (see for example this UK study from 2013 , which estimated over 13,000 deaths resulting from flu in 2008-09). Flu leads to hundreds of thousands of GP visits and tens of thousands of hospital stays a year.

So on average 600.

M0nica Sat 28-Mar-20 20:43:30

52bright, just because your current health problems do not impinge on your life does not mean that if you caught Covid-19, those conditions might not make the severity of the virus infection much worse for you than to someone of a similar age who did not have those problems.

An underlying condition is an underlying condition, whether it leaves you appearing fit and well or bed bound.

Indeed the common feature of almost all those who have died has been, young or old, that they had an underlying health issue. Yes, there are exceptions but they are few and far between.

janeainsworth Sat 28-Mar-20 20:44:16

There is a difference of opinion between scientists at Imperial College and at Oxford University about how the available data (which is far from complete, and won't be for months)should be interpreted.
This article from a medical practice in Hongkong explains it well.

I think all we can do is be conscientious in our behaviour and do our bit, remembering that the more people who follow instructions, the fewer deaths there will be.

Callistemon Sat 28-Mar-20 20:56:07

Baggs interesting about how Germany counts its death rate from COVID19 and in fact quite shocking.

I believe that France used to have a different way of counting its death rate from heart attacks which made it seem very low in comparison to the UK.

Callistemon Sat 28-Mar-20 21:02:23

52bright and Monica

52bright is correct one could live for many years with an underlying health condition and, if they contracted this virus, could survive or not, unless the underlying condition was a particular contra-indication for this particular disease.

I always remember Tony Benn saying that his doctor told him he would probably die with his condition and not from it.

Harris27 Sat 28-Mar-20 21:09:15

Very interesting article it made me understand the jargon of this awful virus.